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Audiobook ARC Review: Saint by Adrienne Young

Publication Date: November 29, 2022

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns to the world of The Narrows with Saint, a captivating prequel to Fable and Namesake.

As a boy, Elias learned the hard way what happens when you don’t heed the old tales.

Nine years after his lack of superstition got his father killed, he’s grown into a young man of piety, with a deep reverence for the hallowed sea and her fickle favor. As stories of the fisherman’s son who has managed to escape the most deadly of storms spreads from port to port, his devotion to the myths and creeds has given him the reputation of the luckiest bastard to sail the Narrows.

Now, he’s mere days away from getting everything his father ever dreamed for him: a ship of his own, a crew, and a license that names him as one of the first Narrows-born traders. But when a young dredger from the Unnamed Sea with more than one secret crosses his path, Elias’ faith will be tested like never before. The greater the pull he feels toward her, the farther he drifts from the things he’s spent the last three years working for.

He is dangerously close to repeating his mistakes and he’s seen first hand how vicious the jealous sea can be. If he’s going to survive her retribution, he will have to decide which he wants more, the love of the girl who could change their shifting world, or the sacred beliefs that earned him the name that he’s known for―Saint.

My Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this. Adrienne Young’s writing always seems simple on the surface but then immediately draws me in and I remain hooked throughout the story.

I loved Fable and Namesake, so I was excited to read Saint. I wasn’t sure about it at first, because he and Isolde are hard characters to get to know. They keep everything so close to the chest and are very wary about trusting anyone. As the story progressed, however, they began to let down their guard little by little and I cared about them a lot before I even realized it.

The romance was the sort where they’re instantly attracted to one another but fight it, which isn’t my favorite trope but I think in this case it worked well. For Saint his attraction to Isolde is almost like his mystical rituals about the sea. For Isolde it’s like the Midnight. Like it’s bigger than the two of them and they can’t understand it or change it but just ride it out.

The story moved along at a good clip and there was plenty of action to keep me riveted. I loved that it was set either out on the sea or at various ports. Those are my favorite sort of books.

The side characters were great as well. They all felt real, as did the setting, like I could walk into those ports and those people would be there, exactly as described.

The story also managed to feel very new and yet end in a place that perfectly set up Fable and Namesake. It left a good span of years between the end and the start of Fable, but it arranged the playing pieces in such a way that I could see how they were lining up and how they would fall.

I will definitely be seeking out more of Adrienne Young’s books when they are published.

The audiobook narrators were excellent as well. I enjoyed their voices and the character voices they chose. It definitely helped bring the story to life.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for providing an early copy for review.

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